May 6, 2022

Priests chosen to serve as ‘National Eucharistic Preachers’

By Mike Krokos

Two priests serving in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis have been chosen to serve as “National Eucharistic Preachers” in support of the multi-year National Eucharistic Revival leading up to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) National Eucharistic Congress to be held in Indianapolis in July of 2024.

Father Jonathan Meyer and Dominican Father Patrick Hyde are among the more than 50 priests from across the United States to minister in this initiative.

Father Meyer is co-pastor with Father Daniel Mahan of the parishes of All Saints in Dearborn County, St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Aurora, St. Lawrence in Lawrenceburg and St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross in Bright.

Father Patrick is pastor of St. Paul Catholic Center in Bloomington.

The initiative was established with the goal of awakening a desire among the faithful to encounter Jesus in the Eucharist, and to cultivate a personal devotion and relationship with him in a way that bears fruit in works of charity, USSCB National Eucharistic Revival officials said.

“Given the number of dioceses in the U.S. and the number of those selected, it is quite impressive that we had … two [priests] actually able to serve as National Eucharistic Preachers,” said Archbishop Charles C. Thompson. “They will be assigned by the USCCB committee overseeing the Eucharistic Revival and Congress at the request of dioceses and parishes. 

“Obviously, those that have been designated to serve in this capacity evidence a great love for the Eucharist as well as preaching. To serve in this capacity, a priest needs to be inspiring, articulate, rooted in prayer and grounded in Scripture as well as sacramental theology.”

The priests took part in a retreat in April in Chicago which included Mass, eucharistic adoration and presentations by Bishop Andrew H. Cozzens of Crookston, Minn., chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, Archbishop Emeritus

J. Peter Sartain of Seattle, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Bishop Robert J. Lombardo of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Father Mike Schmitz of the Diocese of Duluth, Minn., and Dr. Timothy O’Malley of Notre Dame’s McGrath Institute for Church Life.

During the next three years of the Eucharistic Revival, representatives from the group will be available to preach at various events, including gatherings for diocesan and parish leaders, special diocesan Masses and eucharistic holy hours, clergy convocations, diocesan eucharistic congresses, and youth and young adult events.

The National Eucharistic Preachers, USCCB officials said, seek to affirm the great work done in dioceses by clergy and lay faithful. Dioceses around the country will be invited to identify local preachers—both ordained and lay—who can help multiply the efforts of the National Eucharistic Preachers on a local level to amplify the impact of the Revival.

“A renewal of eucharistic preaching is an important focus of the three-year Eucharistic Revival happening in dioceses and parishes across the United States,” said Father Jorge Torres, a priest of the Diocese of Orlando and staff member dedicated to the Eucharistic Revival at the USCCB. “There is an invitation from the bishops of the United States to ignite our faith in the Eucharist in a way that flows from and returns to the Eucharist.”

Archbishop Thompson said Father Meyer and Father Hyde are both “very good homilists with a passion for the faith and teaching it to others.”

“They have the ability to appeal to various age groups in their preaching, which is a trait of a good homilist. The Revival is about reaching minds and hearts in relationship to the Real Presence of the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist,” the archbishop noted.

“One of the most effective ways of doing so is by capturing and stirring the Catholic imagination through effective preaching. Such preaching must not only deepen eucharistic devotion, but lead to the lived experience of the Eucharist in living our baptismal call to holiness and mission.

“This is the task assigned to Father Hyde and Father Meyer, a task which they are excited to embrace with a missionary spirit and joyful witness. They certainly need our support, especially by way of their parishioners’ patience and understanding while traveling, as well as the prayers of the archdiocese.”
 

(To learn more about the National Eucharistic Preachers or find out how they can be scheduled for local events, visit https://eucharisticrevival.org/eucharistic-preachers.)

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